Altretamine (By mouth)

Introduction

Altretamine (al-TRET-a-meen)

Treats ovarian cancer that has returned after chemotherapy.

Brand Name(s)

Hexalen

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to altretamine, or if you have serious problems with your bone marrow or nerves.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • It is best to take this medicine after meals and at bedtime.
  • You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.

If a dose is missed:

  • You must use this medicine on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose. The instructions may be different in different situations.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking cimetidine (Tagamet®), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), or certain medicine to treat depression (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have nerve problems.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood and do neurologic tests at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fainting, dizziness, mood disorders, or problems with balance or walking.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your arms, hands, legs, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Seizures.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: March 4, 2014
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
Copyright © 1984-2014 Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.
Thomson Adam

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